September 18, 2014
by Kahaliah Richards
Do you ever wonder why your team isn’t performing at the level you envisioned? No matter what you do it seems as if there’s a missing piece to the ‘perfect team’ formula. With each new hire you’re hopeful, but you quickly realize that it’s the same problem with new people. Sound familiar?
You’re not alone. Studies have shown that approximately 70% of the workforce is made up of disengaged employees. If that’s the case you, along with every other business leader, is facing the same issue. How do we convert disengaged employees to make them productive members of your team? Before we answer that question, let’s start by understanding the three types of employees:
The disengaged employee: This is the employee that doesn’t do anything wrong, but they certainly don’t go the extra mile. They show up for work on time and leave on time, but they’re exchanging hours for a paycheck and don’t seem to be highly motivated to meet and exceed the business goals. What’s worse than a disengaged employee?
The actively disengaged employee: This is the most toxic employee you can have on your team. They rarely seem happy, but will go to great lengths to make sure the entire team knows what makes them unhappy. This employee is commonly referred to as a ‘pot stirrer’ and is usually the person keeping any and all drama in your office sufficiently fed with energy. The actively disengaged employee is not there to help the team meet or exceed goals. They are there to make everyone else’s life as difficult as possible. What type of employee is most desirable?
The actively engaged employee: This employee believes in your organization and is the poster child for going the extra mile. They are respectful and helpful to their co-workers and have a strong desire to make things better. They’re self-motivated, as well as interested in keeping up to date with technology and developments in their field.
According to a study done by Gallup, the secret to converting disengaged employees to productive members of your team, aka actively engaged employees, is increasing employee engagement. Sounds simple, but how?
The research group has narrowed it down to four things employees want that can ultimately lead to an actively engaged team:
1. Involvement in decision making
2. Employees want to feel like they not only can share ideas, but that they are heard and valued as well.
3. Opportunities to learn and grow
4. That their employer is concerned for their health and well-being
Isn’t that what we all want? The truth is, your team isn’t that much different than you. They want to feel valued, appreciated, and a part of something bigger. Yet, as leaders we tend to get into doing mode and forget that we’re surrounded by human beings that have needs and desires beyond a paycheck. We’re cranking through our day completing one task or project after another, getting stuff done, but missing the mark on true connection and engagement with our teams.
What’s the solution? First, take a good hard look at your team. Do you have any actively disengaged employees? They rarely make the conversion to actively engaged and are the most toxic to your team environment. As a leadership team, focus some serious discussion on these employees and the time and energy they take from you, as well as the other members of your team. Can you work with them through tough conversations and hold them accountable for their actions to facilitate positive change in their work habits? If not, perhaps it’s time to free up their future.
Next, look for ways to incorporate the four things that drive employee engagement. Collaborating with one another on a regular basis has been proven to do just that. Whether through casual conversation or full scale team meetings, actively seeking out your team’s thoughts and ideas, and truly hearing them will go a long way in building a happy and fulfilled team focused on the greater good of the business.
If you need help getting those creative juices flowing, we can help. Earlier this month our friends at OneMind Health sponsored a hugely successful session at the American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM) conference in San Diego. I presented this session entitled, Brain Sparks: Working together we all win! During the session we talked about ways to collaborate and drive engagement. I gave attendees a structured method to use that they could take back to their offices and use right away. We had a lot of fun putting the method to work in our interactive exercises and have received great reviews.
Here’s the great news: OneMind Health has been generous enough to house the handout from this session on their website for immediate download!
I challenge you as a business leader to look for ways to collaborate more with your team and drive employee engagement. What are two small steps you can take to incorporate collaborative systems in your daily routine? Please share in the comments section of this post.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Mindy Altermatt, FAADOM
SOURCED: OneMind Health
To read more visit: www.onemindhealth.com
Mindy Altermatt, is a professional coach, speaker, and leadership champion. She’s a veteran of the dental industry with experience in insurance processing, practice management, and team development. During her years as a practice administrator she achieved fellowship distinction with the American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM), and in 2007 was named their Office Manager of the Year. She is a member of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants as well as the Speaking Consulting Network. Connect with Mindy on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, & Google+. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her on the web at www.mindyaltermatt.com.